Yosemite - some highlights & annoyances

I have had Yosemite installed on my primary Mac for about a week now.  I thought I’d jot down some things I really like about it and a couple of things that really annoy me and how to work around them.  By the way, make sure to update your iPhone & iPad to iOS 8.1, there are a lot of bug fixes and enhancements in this update.  Click this to read more.

First, what I like about Yosemite:

  • I really like the clean, flat look and feel and I like the new system-wide font.
  • I really like being able to make and receive phone calls on my Mac (and my iPad!).  This function uses the voice-only feature of the FaceTime app.  Of course, you have to have an iPhone running iOS 8 and that phone has to be connected to the same wifi network as your Mac.
  • I really like being able to text non-Apple users via SMS texting (as opposed to the Apple-only iMessage protocol).  This was a pain in the past as the only way I could SMS text someone was on my phone.  Now it is easy and convenient!
  • I really like Handoff - if I start typing on my iPhone or iPad and realize it is just too involved for a small device and want to continue typing on my Mac, the handoff is just waiting for me at the end of my Dock!  Slick.
  • I have not yet used iCloud Drive as I am a Dropbox user and I am not ready to change all of that.  But, it looks very convenient and is built into Finder.  iCloud Drive almost surely requires a paid account for because it uses your paltry free 5GB of iCloud storage.

Now, the annoyances.  There are not many, but they bug me:

  • The red, yellow and green buttons at the upper left of most windows are still there.  Red and yellow work just like they used to (remember, the red button does NOT usually Quit an app, it just closes the window - use Command-Q to Quit an app).  However, the green button is different.  It used to “make the window as big as it needs to be.".  Now, when you click the green button it puts your app into “full screen mode”, taking away your Dock and menu bar!  Ack!  To get it back, hover your mouse in the upper left of your screen and click the green button again.

Here is the trick - if you want the green button to simply make the window bigger as it did in the past, hold the Option key on your keyboard while clicking the green button!

Another option is to go to System Preferences > Dock and uncheck the box "Double-click a window's title bar to minimize".  Then, you can double click the window's title bar to "maximize".

  • Translucent menu and title bars.  Although this is a visually cool feature (your desktop background or what you have scrolled up shows as a blurred, colored area under the menu and title bars) I have found it to obscure menu and toolbar words and icons.  Here is how to turn it off:
  1. Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility
  2. Click on “Display” in the left sidebar
  3. Check the box “Reduce Transparency”
  4. While you are there, you can check "Increase contrast" to see if you like it
  5. Close System Preferences
  • Safari Favorites bar.  for many people this was taken away after the Yosemite update. To get it back click View in the menu bar and choose “Show Favorites Bar.”
  • Safari does not show the entire website address.  To get this back go to Safari in the menu bar > Preferences > Advanced and click “Show full website address.”
  • iTunes 12 - although not specifically for Yosemite, this update did away with the traditional iTunes sidebar.  Argh.
    1. In the upper left corner of iTunes near the music note icon, you will see three dots.  Click them, then choose Edit.  Check the areas of iTunes you would like to easily access, then click Done at the bottom. You will see the resultant icons on the left.
    2. To make the music sidebar kind of re-appear, click the music note icon in the upper left, then choose the Playlist tab in the top center.  Finally, on the upper right, pull-down and choose “Songs”.

This is an early report.  I have not really noticed any glaring bugs per say, have you?  I’d love to know.  Email me by clicking here.